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Sunday, 29 October, 2000, 06:25 GMT
Cascarino: I was a fraud
Tony Cascarino
Cascarino was a popular performer in the green jersey
Republic of Ireland striker Tony Cascarino has revealed that he was never qualified to represent the Emerald Isle.

The former Chelsea, Aston villa, Celtic, Marseille and Nancy striker won 88 caps for the Republic on the strength of a maternal grandfather from Westport, Michael O'Malley.

However, in his autobiography 'Full Time: The Secret life of Tony Cascarino', he now admits that O'Malley was not his mother's natural father, rendering him ineligible under international rules.

Cascarino's mother had been aware of the fact throughout his career, but only told him after he had retired from international football.

I didn't qualify for Ireland. I was a fraud. A fake Irishman
  Tony Cascarino
"I didn't qualify for Ireland," writes Cascarino. "I was a fraud. A fake Irishman."

Cascarino also reveals that he was turned down for an Irish passport in 1985, but carried on playing regardless.

"It seemed odd but I didn't follow it up," said Cascarino.

"I didn't need to. I had already won three international caps and for the next 12 years I continued playing for Ireland with my British passport."

Cascarino's tale is highlighted in The Observer, courtesy of Dublin's Sunday Independent, who have serialisation rights to the player's book.

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23 Oct 00 |  World Cup 2002
McCarthy: Don't be tempted
12 Oct 00 |  Northern Ireland
Quinn aiming for 21 again
11 Oct 00 |  World Cup 2002
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